Yesterday, the NFL news cycle spit out a new rumor-- Mac Jones has an attitude problem. An ego problem. There is friction between him and the New England Patriots. Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer and the Boston Globe's Ben Volin both reported different variations of this, and it became a talking point: do the Patriots have a Mac Jones problem?
It persisted into Wednesday morning, largely thanks to Volin, who appeared on Boston radio to throw out that Jones has attitude problems and "everyone in the building knows it."
This is a story that came out of left field and has gained momentum. Yet it all feels pretty strange!
The above "report" came from Volin, but he said he got his information from a Twitter DM. He told the hosts of the Greg Hill Show to not take it as a report and he wouldn't put it in the Globe, but then said they could call it a report if they want, he was just shedding light on "stuff" he's heard. This isn't reporting malpractice by any means and Volin knew exactly what he was doing by throwing that out there on a Boston sports talk radio show. The cycle of clicks goes 'round.
Still, the way he decided to disseminate it feels weird. And then you think about what he's actually saying. Mac Jones, a guy who didn't have a problem throwing three passes in a nationally-televised game against a division rival, has an ego problem. Mac Jones, who beat out a very washed Cam Newton for a starting gig last year, needs an attitude adjustment. Mac Jones, who got his ass thoroughly handed to him by the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs last season, is getting too big for his britches in Year 2.
It wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world for the second-year player's head to get a bit big after being crowned as the next franchise QB for the Patriots. But what we know doesn't really line up here, and beat reporters like Volin throwing out tidbits they learned from anonymous Twitter users is just stoking the discussion.
Oftentimes when it comes to inside reporting, where there's smoke there's fire. This does not feel like one of those times.